Posts filed under: ‘Cheesecake‘


This is my 100th post!! And of course now wordpress is getting stingy with letting me upload photos…I digress.

So lets talk about my wedding again shall we?  There are many things to do: Set a date. Check. Find a venue and book it. Check. Find a cater, DJ, photographer, videographer , figure out our first song, a song for myself and my dad, for Phil’s mom and him, figure out a cake (well I think I’ve got this down already), finalize the guest list, set up a rehearsal, find and officiant, set up the shower, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner…the list goes on. But Phil and I and our parents are hot on the trail of most of this stuff. And dresses…I refuse to try on anything until I hit the gym a few more times, which I’ve been doing religiously. And then of course theres finding dresses for the wedding party. Speaking of brides maids its time to figure out the wedding party.

Phil and I wrote down those friends and family who are so special to us they will be forced to wear matching dresses and kilts (YES kilts) and stand with us when we take our vows. For ladies anyway picking out your bridesmaids is serious business. The last wedding I was in I was the maid of honor. Your responsibilities are to arrange the bridal shower, bachelorette party and holding the bridal gown anytime your bride friend has to pee. Big responsibilites. When Sarah, my bff (and if you read the last post– the only friend who can vouch I KNEW Phil was going to pop the question) got engaged I knew I’d be her maid of honor as we’d talked about over the years.  We’ve been friends since kindergarten.  But she being the Emily-Post reading bride (zilla) Sarah asked me to be her MOH in such a special way. She is an olympian level scrapbooker, and shortly after she was engaged I recieved a package in the mail. Inside was a small custom-made book filled with pictures and inscriptions going back to when we were kids. The last page was a pic of her and I “I can think of no one else I’d have stand with me as my maid of Honor on my wedding day” Still makes me teary.

I’ve racked my brain on how to pop the same question in a special way, and since baking and blogging is my thing I think this is IT!

Our friendship begin in 1987, as we both embarked on our first of many school days at St. Brigid’s Regional Catholic School. Neither of us can remember our first day of school really. I remember the stress of taking the bus and making friends as any one might. The first memory Sarah and I have of each other is a fateful one. Sarah and I sat next to each other, and regularly shared snack time. I recall quite vividly a particular day when snack time started and Sarah looked a little green. I asked if she was alright. The answer was more visceral then I expected. She puked her purple grape juice all over her’s and my desk. Needless to say she went home sick shortly thereafter. I do remember feeling disappointed we wouldn’t spend the rest of the school day together.  We were in brownies together, took dance classes together, we had fights over boys, fights over friends, shared birthdays, went to prom together, went to dances, joined the same high school clubs, worked to fundraise a trip to Paris as seniors, went off to college on the same day and stayed in touch picking up where ever we had left off even when we were far away from each other. When she was living in our home town I regularly popped in, unexpected, dipping in to a bottle of white wine as we caught up on home town gossip and sharing the trials and tribulations of being working professionals. Shes the girl I know no matter what, I can call late at night whether I’ ve had my heart broken or just wantot chat. having my heart broken.  As a better friend she was the first person to say (after my last big break up) “its time to move on and start over–even if its not what you want to hear. I think the people who love us, know what we need and always have our best interest in mind. And boy am I glad I followed that advice. Even with the time difference (she now lives in Austin) her husband knows when I’m on the phone that his wife Sarah will be incompassitated for a couple of hours!! I told the story of our vomit-ladened meeting at her wedding during my maid of honor speech, but are friendship started sometime before that day spans far beyond and I think it always will. I should also mention that Phil and I are getting married (next year) on her birthday February 9th, which so happens to be today.

Sarah Brooks Grady, will you please be my Maid of Honor?

In honor of my Maid of Honor CHEESECAKE! Its one of Sarah’s most favorite desserts. Sarah had cupcakes for her wedding or a “deconstructed wedding cake” as its called in the industry. I however can’t help but indulge in a more traditional cake as the biggest reason Phil and I met was that he designed my website dedicated to cake.  BUT we also have some good friends who own a fabulous cheesecake shop in Albany and I’ve been thinking of doing a whole dessert buffet with cake, cheesecake and maybe even some candy. Sarah had a  candy buffet at her wedding which was a HIT.

Paula Deen’s Chocolate Explosion Cake, from food network– where btw you can register and save your favorite or interesting recipes in a recipe box online–love it.


  • 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1/2 cup caramel syrup
  • 1 (16 1/2-ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter, stirring to combine. Press the crust into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes; let cool.

For the chocolate layer:-(cooks up like a brownie) Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total). Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and flour until just combined. Pour into the bottom of the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes; let cool. I think mine needed a little more than 15 min.

For the cheesecake layer: Spread the caramel topping evenly over the cooled chocolate layer. Cut the cookie dough crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place the slices in an even layer over the caramel, pressing gently together to seal the edges.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and flour until just combined. Stir in the sour cream. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough layer and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and gently run a knife around the edges to release the crust from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.

For the ganache: ( I called it quits are this part– I figured that layers beneath were enough) Using a double boiler, combine the chocolate and cream and melt (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute total). Spread over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

This cake is out of this world good. But a quick not on releasing it from the pan.  I left mine cool andthten refridgerated without thinking of all the ewwy gooey that would keep this cake confined. I actually broke my spring form trying to open it up…I recommend baking this with a cookie sheet beneath it like I did as a bunch of carmel leaked out. I’d also recommend dipping the pan in warm water to loosen the layers of cookies and brownies and caramel that have cemented the pan shut.


1 comment February 9, 2012

Cheesecake Machismo

First of all what great assonance in that statement…Cheeeeeeesecake Machiiiiiiiiiismo.  Well I’m giving a shout out to a little shop in Albany that goes by this very title… I recently visited this unassuming spot, owned by Lynn Beaumont and Bam Lynch, because they like me utilize the talents of one wonderful graphic designer who doesn’t mind being paid incake.  (See the artwork below.


Cheesecake Macchismo has a quaint little locale with a punk flair right in the center of Albany where they make over 290–THATS RIGHT 290 different flavors of CHEESECAKE!!! What started out as a hobby for them has quickly become a growing business and obsession, well at least for me and anybody else who has ever sampled any of their various cakes!!!  (True Confessions: I ate 3 different slices of their cheesecake just this weekend…)

Frankencake...any combo of flavors you like all in one cake!

Lets be honest though, cheesecake…well its not cake.  Its actually custard, making it ridiculously easy to screw up!  First you need a pan that’s boobytrapped to unhinge, a springform pan that is.  It must be baked …while soaking in a bath.  It takes forever to cook (so the eggs don’t coagulate–no seriously thats why!) Then it takes its sweet time sitting in the oven while it cools.  Cheesecake is as eccentric as Marie Antoinette (pictured above), and I can attest to the fact that it takes Machismo to really nail it.

Unless…unless you find this Ohhhhhh so easy recipe here on this little sight o’ mine.

Mini Cheesecakes (this one comes straight out of my mom’s recipe box)

Nilla Waffers (12)

2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese softened

3/4 c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and place 1 Nilla waffer at the bottom of each.  Cream the butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth.  Make sure you let the cream cheese soften else you will never beat the lumps out.  Add sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Scoop into cups.  I like to add a fruit topping.  You can thin down a jam or preserve by whisking with with a few tsp of orange juice. drizzle over the top of the cheesecake mixture.  Swirl a knife through to achieve an eye pleasing design.  Pop in the over for at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you’ve had a chance to sample Machismo, consider yourself lucky.  If not perhaps you can take some inspiration from the 290 Machismo flavors and spice up this quickie recipe with oreos, snickers, chocolate, ginger, boysenberries, apples, maple, chocolate stout, cinnamon, green tea…the flavor combinations go on for days.  What Lynn and Bam do to cheesecake is evil, sinful, just wrong…and I mean that in the most delicious way possible.   Machismo could go head to head with a Brooklyn slice any day of the week.  Thankfully I live pretty far away from their shop, else I’d have a serious weight problem.

2 comments March 8, 2010

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